Driver Boards

Driver boards are used to control features (coils, LEDs, lamps, motors, etc) on a pinball machine or in other applications. They can be driven by a P-ROC, a P3-ROC, and many other programmable microcontroller-type devices.

Each driver board has an RS-485 serial interface so that it can be chained to other driver boards. Therefore, you can use as many boards as your application requires. Further, since the serial interface will continue to work at distances well over 10 feet (100 feet even), you can locate the boards in the backbox, under the playfield, or anywhere else in your machine.

There are 4 types of driver boards:

Power Driver 16


Control 16 high current devices (2 fused banks of 8)

Power Driver Matrix 8x8


Control an 8x8 lamp matrix



Control 84 LEDs (28 RGB LEDs)



Connect a P-ROC to a chain of driver boards

Mastering the chain:

Each chain must include an RS-485 master.  The P3-ROC has built-in master logic, but the original P-ROC does not.  To master a chain of driver boards using a P-ROC, you'll need a separate board.  We offer a Power Driver Master, a Power Driver 16 / Master combo, a Power Driver Matrix 8x8 / Master combo.  Any one of them can start a chain. Typically, you'll choose a Power Driver Master board if you won't have any features in your backbox and you want to locate the rest of the boards in the chain under the playfield.  Otherwise, it's common to get a Master combo board so you can control devices or a lamp matrix with the same board that's mastering the chain.

A 3rd party RS-485 transmitter can also be used as a master if its bandwidth is at least 10 mbps. When using a 3rd party RS-485 transmitter with a P-ROC, it also needs to be 3.3V compatible, as the P-ROC's data output is 3.3V. Otherwise, you'll need to level-shift the data. Because most 5V devices will work fine with a 3.3V input, chances are good that the P-ROC will work with a 5V RS-485 transmitter.


Alternate controllers:

Many microcontrollers, such as a 16 MHz (or higher) Arduino, can be used instead of a P-ROC to drive a chain of driver boards. If using something other than a P-ROC with a Master Driver Board or one of the Master combo boards, please ensure that its data output is 3.3V compatible, as the data input on the Master boards is 3.3V. Otherwise, you'll need to level shift the data.


Availability: In stock

Driver Boards

Example Configurations

Here are a few examples of machine features and the corresponding number of driver boards to control them:

Game Features

Power Driver 16 Boards

Power Driver Matrix 8x8 Boards

PD-LED Boards

128 individually controlled features

8 0 0

32 individually controlled features


2 0 2

32 individually controlled features

1 8x8 lamp matrix


2 1 1
64 individually controlled features

2 8x8 lamp matrixes

4 2 0
56 individually controlled features

1 16x8 lamp matrix

84 single color LEDs

3 2 1

For more information, check out the Frequently Asked Driver Board Questions.